The other day, I read an article and found an interesting stat. More than 50% of solo travelers in the US were women.
That got me thinking – Why are men not traveling solo? Is it because guys think it’s weird to travel alone?
Then it flashed – Traveling alone as a guy is not weird.
However, there are some reasons why one might think it is. Being a guy, I know the psyche behind it.
So in this blog, I will share why guys might feel it’s weird to travel alone and what to do when you think that way.
An important disclaimer – This will be a very raw and honest conversation. My main aim is not to offend anyone but to present my viewpoints.
Also, in another article, I have shared why traveling alone is not weird. But in this article, the main focus will be on one gender.
Why solo traveling as a guy can feel weird.
Here are a few reasons why:
‘I don’t have anyone to travel with’
To understand why a guy traveling alone feels weird, we need to look at it from the context of a group.
Imagine for a moment you are in a travel group. You want to travel and explore new places. However, your buddies are lazy. They want to stay together, watch movies and find ways to kill time.
You don’t like it. So you rebel against the group and venture out on your own. The group doesn’t like your rebellious act. They don’t accept the fact that you went against the majority. Soon, the word spreads, and you become a weirdo!
This is a non-fiction, inspired from my life 😉
Such an experience can feel alienating. We, humans, are social creatures. So being kicked out of a group is a painful experience.
But over time, I’ve realized nothing is wrong with it. You were fighting for your desire to explore and to make the most out of the trip. You gave preference to your individual needs over that of the majority.
It doesn’t make you weird if you have no one to travel with.
Fear of negative labels around male solo travel
Some men fear that whenever they travel alone, negative labels like drug dealer, loser, pervert, filthy, etc gets attached to them.
These could be triggered by a casual remark like – “Why do you travel alone? Don’t you have anybody to go out with?” or even “Remove that beard. You must be looking so uncivilized to others.”
However, you must realize that these labels are perceptions of people. No matter how much you try, you can’t control their judgment. If, at the end of the day, you want to explore on your own, it doesn’t matter what others think.
What to do if you feel weird traveling alone as a guy?
Whenever you think it’s a little weird to travel on your own, try the following things:
1. Take inspiration from famous solo male travelers.
It could be fictional or real. The main thing is to connect and relate with their story because that will reduce the ‘stigma’ associated with solo travel.
Growing up, Captain Jack Sparrow from the Pirates of the Caribbean series was one of my favorite movie characters. The way he would escape from the clutches of the enemies all on his own left a deep impression on me. Thanks to that, I have always had a fictional hero with whom I could relate and never felt disgusted for venturing alone.
2. Talk to a friend
Do you have a friend who also solo travels? Then talk to them. They won’t just offer advice but also help you feel normal about traveling alone.
At one point, I remember feeling very lonely during a trip, so much that I started to question whether going alone was worth it. Then I texted my solo traveler friend, who assured me everything was fine.
It put me in a good mood. And on the next day, I had one of my best solo adventures.
3. Think of why you love to travel solo.
In the context of solo traveling, when you truly know what motivates you to travel alone, the judgment of other people won’t affect you.
I always loved going out alone. It gave me a thrill and a sense of adventure. You might enjoy traveling alone because of the freedom. Whatever it is, remember your why.
4. Delete friends who make you feel guilty for venturing alone.
The people we hang out with influence our choices more than we like. So if you stay with someone who thinks it’s uncool to travel alone, delete them. The longer you stay with them, the more they will corrupt your mind into believing your actions are bad.
A big community out there believes you are fantastic for traveling solo.
I assure you that taking a trip alone is normal. Drop the association to the negative labels. The moment you hit the road, you’ll forget about this question 🙂